As the recent past commander, training and establishing clear lanes of responsibility have become increasingly important as new comrades take on new responsibilities. Here is an email I sent the new Jr. Vice.
As Jr. Vice and membership chair, you are responsible for all things membership. It is a big responsibility. Additionally, it is a major factor in deciding if a comrade is capable of handling bigger responsibilities such as being a post commander. If a comrade can’t handle membership processing, then it is probably a poor idea to make them responsible for the whole post.
Transfer requests come from different sources: in person, email, online, from existing post members for another veteran, and some have been sent from the Connecticut VFW. One would think it would be easy to just transfer a member, especially a life member to our post–but it isn’t. Transfers must be vetted, presented, and voted into the post. Once they get the OK, the Quartermaster submits the transfer (typically right after a meeting) information into vfw.org.
Traditionally, the membership chairman receives all membership and transfer requests. It is his job to present the application and supporting evidence of qualifying service to the other members of the committee. It is in the best interest of the chair, the committee, and for the post to make sure all applications presented have no issues. In other words, the committee needs to be tough and accurate.
Transfers need to have their status checked. New and transfer veterans and elected officers have their DD-214s checked. Usually this is simple but I have had to tell a number of veterans that their submitted documentation did not offer evidence of qualifying service.
The best way to process a transfer is to get the veteran to submit our online form (*we use JotForm.com). Typically, I will write a nice email thanking the veteran for their interest and include the link to the website (VFWNewHaven.org) and the form. They fill it out, attach a digital copy of their documentation, and it is submitted in a secure form.
When you get this email, print the application and the attached documentation, put it in a sheet protector, and show it to your committee members so it can be brought up for a vote during a meeting. If our comrades vote to accept the application for membership, the quartermaster gets the packets, inputs the data, and gives the completed membership transfers to the adjutant for the growing membership binder.